State officials OK paying for mine cleanup in SW Idaho
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho officials have approved spending about $125,000 to do reclamation work at a sand and gravel mine in southwestern Idaho after the owner abandoned the site a decade ago and now doesn't have money for the work.
The Idaho Land Board voted 4-1 Tuesday to do the reclamation on about 26 acres (10 hectares) in Ada County, with Republican Gov. Brad Little voting against the plan.
State officials say a company called Prime Earth, Inc., received a permit to mine 6 acres (2.5 hectares) from the Idaho Department of Lands in 1990.
Officials say the company mined an additional 20 acres (8 hectares) with no permit.
Officials also say the company didn't pay an annual fee for participation in a Reclamation Fund.
Lands Department officials say there are another half dozen mines that will also require the state to take over cleanup and reclamation work.